The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake) to the Secretary of State

No. 1523

Sir: Under cover of my No. 1521 of January 9, 1940, I had the honor to transmit to the Department, copy of my Note of the same date addressed to the French Resident General at Rabat, in pursuance of Instruction No. 1054 of December 4, 19398 (File No. 681.006/67), reiterating and amplifying the reservations formulated in a former Note, dated September 18, 1939,9 (Enclosure No. 15 to my No. 1496 of October 9, 193910) in respect of wartime legislation of the French Protectorate at variance with the treaty principles governing the economic regime of Morocco.

I now have the honor to transmit herewith, in the French text and English translation, copy of a communication from the French Residency General at Rabat, commenting upon my first Note of September 18, 1939. By coincidence, this communication from the Resident General and my second confirmatory Note, are both dated January 9, 1940, and crossed in the post.

I submit that the Residency’s communication is not unsatisfactory. While, as might be expected, it affirms in somewhat nebulous generalities assurances of the Protectorate Government’s good intentions, it certainly does seem to contain what we may claim to construe as a commitment, on the part of the French and Protectorate Governments, [Page 777] to repeal the unorthodox legislation, upon the termination of the war conditions, which are alleged to have occasioned it.

This would seem to be no unimportant factor in support of the reservations which we have formulated for the safeguard of our position, in relation to the possible renewal of treaty negotiations concerning Morocco, after the termination of the war.

There has of course been insufficient time for the Residency to reply to my amplified Note of January 9, 1940, from which, the French Authorities should appreciate the spirit of understanding in which we regard their special difficulties, and the offer of practical co-operation in an endeavor to overcome them.

Respectfully yours,

Maxwell Blake

The Secretary General of the French Residency General in Morocco (Morize) to the American Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (Blake)

Mr. Diplomatic Agent: I did not fail to examine, with all the care which they deserve, the arguments and considerations which you have been good enough to develop in your letter of September 18, 1939.

It will certainly not have escaped the attention of the American Government that the various measures recently taken in commercial and financial matters, tend to protect the Moroccan economy, which the war threatened to throw out of balance. Moreover this support, of which France bears the entire burden, is profitable without distinction to all powers which entertain commercial relations with Morocco.

Neither is it the intention of the Government of the Republic to give longer duration to this regime than may be justified by the circumstances. The regime arises from these circumstances and will disappear with them. There is nothing to justify attribution to the Administration of the Protectorate, of the intention to take advantage, to the detriment of third parties, of necessities the inevitable character of which is self-evident.

The measures in question are therefore not destined to survive the conditions which have rendered their application indispensable. Finally, France and Morocco, far from desiring to seek weapons to be used for their own advantage, are firmly resolved, in practice, not to depart from the liberal spirit which, in this regard, has never ceased to animate them.

Please accept [etc.]